Recap / Family Guy S 4 E 14 PTV
After David Hyde Pierce (Niles Crane on the sitcom Frasier
) accidentally exposes himself during a live awards show, the FCC begins a campaign of toning down anything that could be considered too indecent for TV (such as censor-blocking
Christie's covered breasts jiggling in a bikini on Three's Company
, the Dick and Dyke in The Dick Van Dyke Show
being bleeped out, and Ralph Cramden's famous threat to punch Alice on The Honeymooners
redubbed with a shameless plug for buying American cars), and Peter fights back by creating his own TV show featuring the kind of raunchy content TV used to allow — which gets him in trouble with the FCC, who turn to censoring reality.
This episode contains examples of:
- Artistic License: Peter is forced to miss the Emmy Awards due to having to attend a performance of a school play that Meg is appearing in. In real life, if a school play is performed on a Sunday, it would most likely be an afternoon performance (as most of the performers would have class the next day). Also, it's pretty much impossible for a play performed by high school students to happen the same day as the Emmys, as the ceremony happens in September (and with most high schools only being back in session for a few weeks by this point, there's no real way a school-produced play will be ready by this point).
- Bowdlerization: On the TV version, the show that drives Lois to call the FCC is The Side Boob Hour (a collection of clips featuring the sides of actresses' breasts), which, considering the outrage over Janet Jackson's Wardrobe Malfunction and America's aversion to showing female breasts on TV, actually fits and makes for some good social commentary. However, the DVD version doesn't have The Side Boob Hour as the show that pushes Lois to call the FCC; it's a Jackass-style grossout prank show called Douchebags, where Peter plays the game "I Dare You to Crap Off Of That" and takes a dump on a bridge over a highway, which hits Lois's car and causes it to crash. The FOX censors told Seth MacFarlane that if he wanted the scene kept in, he'd have to edit it so that way Peter couldn't pull down his pants and the wet plop of the crap couldn't be heard (among other things). MacFarlane thought this was too much trouble, so he deleted the "Douchebags" sequence and redid it so that way Lois would freak out over The Side Boob Hour.
- Crazy-Prepared: Peter had set up a "Peter's Right" banner when he and Lois first moved into their house for a moment when he was right and she was wrong. Complete with balloons and a clown... well, his skeleton no less.
- Distinction Without a Difference: "You can have sex, just no moaning, no tongue kissing, no thrusting, no movement whatsoever."
- Dumbass Has a Point: After the FCC stomps out her and her husband's sex life, Lois begrudgingly admits Peter was right about it going too far, to which Peter excitedly pulls down a banner that says "Peter's Right," which he set up when they first moved into the house.
- I Can't Believe I'm Saying This (paraphrased):
Lois: Peter, we have to talk. Look, I thought this FCC thing was a good idea at first, but it's just gone way too far.
Peter: What are you saying, Lois?
Lois: Well, I don't want to admit it, but you were right.
- Hilarious Outtakes: Parodied. The Cold Open depicts Osama Bin Laden Corpsing while recording threatening videos.
- Missing the Good Stuff: Thanks to Lois forcing Peter to go to Meg's school play and not let him watch the Emmy Awards, Peter missed David Pierece's exposure. He's not happy when he finds out.
- Never My Fault/My God, What Have I Done?: Lois is initially the former trope, as she first claims that it was Peter's own fault because of all the raunchy shows he was making, when she was the one who kept complaining about Peter's shows on PTV and was the one who had called the FCC in the first place. And at first, she approves of the FCC's actions of censoring real-life, feeling that the people of Quahog need a lesson in decency—but then she starts feeling the latter trope when it puts a stop to her and Peter's sex life, and Peter angrily points out that this was all technically Lois's fault. In the end, Lois sheepishly admits that Peter was right all along.
- Out-of-Context Eavesdropping: At the beginning of the episode, Peter is stapling red carpet to the bedroom floor. Lois doesn't want him doing that and pins him to the floor. Lois asks him if he likes eating red carpet, and Peter responds affirmatively. Outside, Quagmire hears this line and assumes Peter is giving Lois oral sex. He drops to the ground and says, "Giggity."
- Overly Long Gag: One cutaway involves Ozzy Osbourne eating a sandwich on-stage, instead of biting the head off a bat. He takes a few bites and chews carefully before declaring: "I'll finish it later! Yay."
- The Parents Television Council: By this time, the conservative-leaning entertainment industry watchdog group and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane were locked in a heated war over the show's content and suitability for family viewing. The PTC had already slapped one of the series' episodes – "And the Wiener Is … " – with a "Worst Show of the Week" and filed a complaint with the FCC over its sex-laced content. This episode was a response to the PTC's ongoing complaints, with the initials "PTV" being a sarcastic satire of the PTC.
- The Simpsons: The opening segment sees Stewie run over Homer Simpson. Peter sees Homer lying on the garage floor, unconscious and likely dead, and asks, "Who the hell is that?" Originally, it was supposed to be Peter running to the door as Stewie drives in front of him, but the writers thought it would be funnier to have him run down Homer Simpson.
- Super Bowl XXVIII: The infamous "wardrobe malfunction" involving pop singers Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson inspired an in-episode incident where David Hyde Pierce's trousers accidentally broke during an Emmy Awards broadcast, resulting in a media frenzy. A direct parody of the incident, with Peter in Jackson's place, can be seen near the end of the FCC song.
- The Cold Open is a parody/recreation of The Naked Gun.
- Song Parody: "The Fellas at the Freakin' FCC" is a parody of "Volunteer Firemen Picnic" from the musical Take Me Along.
- Speed Sex: Played with. Following the Distinction Without a Difference above, Lois complains she doesn't see how she and Peter can have sex, when Peter declares he's done and falls asleep on top of her.
- Tempting Fate: After the FCC shut down PTV, Peter claims that they can't stop people from being who they are. The FCC takes that as a challenge and begins censoring real life.
- "The Villain Sucks" Song: "They're the fellas at the freakin' FCC!" Reportedly, the real FCC thought it was hilarious.
- Waiting Skeleton: After Lois decides she's had enough of the FCC and tells Peter that he was right all along, he presses a button that launches a "Peter's Right" party, which he claims he's been saving for 15 years, and wonders what happened to the clown. A few moments later, a skeleton with a rainbow wig falls from the ceiling.